Voluntary Ignorance

I just read this article and it has me hopping mad.  I can understand 7Up Bottling’s contention that their property must be maintained to a certain standard given that they produce consumables, but since the feral colony is located outside of their property it seems like a non-issue here.

I think this has more to do with the ignorance surrounding TNR programs.  And while I recognize that most people don’t actually know much about TNR, it is something else entirely for those who are given the facts to simply dismiss them.  That’s ignorance not by circumstance but by choice, which is hard to forgive.

Particularly hard to forgive when the man featured in this article, Larry Ottoviani, appears to have elevated TNR to its ideal.  Most of us who work in TNR programs, trap the unsocializable feral cats, have them spayed and neutered, return them to the outdoors and feed daily.  Sometimes we make attempts to re-trap any cats who appear sick so they can be examined by a vet, but often the time, cost or logistics of doing so makes that impractical.  Mr. Ottoviani is actually re-trapping them to keep their vaccinations up to date.  I find that level of commitment exceptional, especially for someone with so much on his plate to begin with.

I am impressed and humbled by his work, which makes my own pale by comparison.  I hope anyone reading this will share the story not only so that this man can get his job and insurance back, but also to spread the word about how valuable his other job—TNR, is.

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2 thoughts on “Voluntary Ignorance

  1. It’s such a tragic story, not just a tragic ‘animal’ story, but also because it’s quite evident that taking care of these cats is the main source of joy in this man’s life. If you read the original Sacramento Bee article the blog post links to, he pretty much says that–this should have been a story of triumph, how animals ‘heal’ people and people can help animals, but because of the narrow-minded attitude of this company, it’s had this horrible ending.

    Hopefully, with enough media attention the ending will change and even if 7Up won’t relent, someone will hire this man.

    Thanks for featuring the story on this blog so it gets more attention!

  2. Mary, thank you for sharing the story so I knew about it. I thought about that point after the fact. My first thought was how impressive to take the cats on when he already had so much going on to begin, but then I realized it gave him someone in need to think about other than himself, and that can be healing, too.

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